Mongolia presents human development report

2016-06-14 17:53:18

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A ceremony took place on Tuesday at the UN House in Ulaanbaatar to launch the sixth Mongolia National Human Development Report entitled “Building a Better Tomorrow: Including Youth in the Development of Mongolia”.

This National Human Development Report (NHDR) of Mongolia--the sixth in the series--focuses on youth. Through the medium of the human development approach, it analyses the opportunities, choices and challenges facing young people in Mongolia today. This approach places people at the centre of development. It concentrates on enlarging people’s opportunities and choices to live long, healthy and productive lives.

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Beate Trankmann addressed the event, while she said: “Since the introduction of the concept in the first Human Development Report in 1990, human development has been about expanding the richness of human life, rather than simply the richness of economies. This idea focuses on people, and explores the opportunities people have to live the lives they choose.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite index of life expectancy, education, and income per capita indicators. Mongolia has done well on many of the health and education related Millennium Development Goals and this is reflected in commensurate improvements in the HDI,”

“Last year, it entered for the first time into the high human development category having passed the 0.7 threshold on the HDI. Out of 188 countries, it is currently placed in 90th position, alongside China. Since 2000, Mongolia improved its HDI by an annual 1.35%, moving quicker than most of the countries ranked above it,”

“Mongolia is a young country. Accounting for over a third of the population, youth aged 15–34 years represent the largest demographic group in Mongolia, and a significant share of working age people. Even by 2040, when the country’s population is expected to reach 4 million, almost 30 percent will still be young. That is why this 6th National Human Development Report for Mongolia zooms in on young men and women aged 15-34 years old,” she said in her speech.

A key overriding message of this report is the contribution of youth to building a better tomorrow in Mongolia. This contribution depends largely on the capabilities and opportunities open to youth in making choices. Young people are the shapers and leaders of our global future.1 Like young people elsewhere, Mongolia’s youth possess the potential to become the drivers of change and play a significant role in the nation’s future. They are the first generation in the country to have spent most of their lives under a democratic form of government. This has been crucial to their outlook and their experience.

At more than one million, youth aged 15–34 years represent the largest demographic group in Mongolia, accounting for 34.9 percent of the resident population in 2015 and a significant share of the people of working age. Even by 2040, when the country’s population is expected to reach 4 million, an estimated 29 percent will be in the 15–34 age-group.

The annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of Mongolia increased to 6.7 percent in 2005–2010 and then accelerated to 12.2 percent in 2010–2014. However, according to the World Bank, the growth in GDP is projected to have slowed to 2.3 percent in 2015 and to 0.8 percent in 2016 because of a sharp contraction in mining production and despite a gradual recovery in non-mining sectors.2 Nearly one person in five is living below the poverty line, and the regional disparities within the country are visible. Nonetheless, Mongolia has made substantial progress in the human development index (HDI) at the national level and is placed in the high human development category. Over the past two decades, Mongolia has evolved into “a vibrant multiparty democracy with a booming economy”, and it is now “at the threshold of a major trans-formation driven by the exploitation of its vast mineral resources”.

To what extent are youth in Mongolia benefiting from the economic growth, the progress in social development and the other opportunities? What challenges are they facing in making the choice to “achieve outcomes that they value and have reason to value”? What policies are in place to address these challenges? What can be done by stakeholders to include youth in the country’s growth and development? These are some of the questions motivating this NHDR, which analyses the issues around four pillars of human development important to youth: developing capabilities, expanding employment opportunities, empowering youth, and enhancing human security.